Circus of thinking and things

Founded in 2003 and one of the youngest of European prizes Dutch Design Awards are all about optimism, creativity and acknowledgement of concepts stimulating social, behavioural- aspects and issues like sustainability. This thinking-rather-than-things-policy clearly stands out against the larger perspective of international peers-for-peers competitions like fi. IF Design Awards, recognizing industrial products or the businesses-tied approach of the illustrious Red Dots, both German based and initiated in the mid-fifties.

During the past few years Royal Flora has shifted focus from digitalization of the huge logistical operations in Aalsmeer towards creating of a new communication approach reaching out to consumers. Design-thinking is part of an overall strategy of renewal called ‘Let it Grow’. The intensive cooperation between Royal Flora Holland and Vandejong Creative carries the most exemplary case to reward for Best Client Award

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Quooker Flex
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A fine and innovative brand for quite some years Quooker finally claimed glory for the new Quooker Flex, adding a flexible pull out hose for rinsing the basin or cleaning a large chopping board to their ‘boiling water tap’. In the back of their minds the jurors may have yielded plusses for the brilliant tv-commercial, adequately demonstrating the safe use of the system by children. 


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Frank Kolkman
Ticking the boxes for ‘Design Research’, ‘Zandglas' by Atelier NL clearly belongs to a completely different category. Rather than the peculiar aesthetics, Zandglas was rewarded the award because of the intensity of thinking beyond the product. The DDA committee not only recognized this particular project but also 'appreciated the long and hard road the designers have had to travel in order to put local prospecting for materials on the map as a design and production method’. 
'DeFlat Kleiburg' by NL Architects and XVW architectuur
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Zandglas by Atelier NL
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Zandglas by Atelier NL

Transformation is becoming a sub-discipline developing it's own criteria within the architectural practice, acknowledged by the appointment of Jan Diederen as professor Transformation at Eindhoven Polytechnic University. Renovating factories and adapting industrial structures such as Strijp S or Lichtgebouw and a growing number of other examples all over Holland, remains only the visible part of the problem. The building of a community requires extra skills on a social level as shown in DeFlat Kleiburg, an apartment block in De Bijlmer, near Amsterdam. According to the jurors report ‘it's the first to succeed, genuinely improving the quality of life of the block’s residents and the community.’ The encouraging example 'DeFlat Kleiburg' by NL Architects and XVW architectuur was rewarded the Future Award. Because they also won the Habitat category, they are 2017 big winners.